Senate Republican leaders are scrambling to salvage the confirmation of Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Labor Department in the wake of stalled hearings, staunch Democratic opposition and the surprise news that he once hired an illegal immigrant.

Republicans have set a cooling off period of sorts for Andy Puzder, the burger chain CEO Trump nominated in December to become Secretary of Labor.

Puzder’s nomination has languished over missing paperwork, and he admitted Monday that he employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper for five years but fired her, and only later paid back taxes.

Democrats already had their sites set on Puzder because he is a critic of raising the minimum wage, among other issues. They have labeled him anti-labor and hope to trip him up in confirmation hearings as they did during their questioning of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a school-choice advocate whose confirmation they nearly derailed before she was approved in the Senate on Tuesday, thanks to the tie-breaking vote from Vice President Pence.

GOP leaders are now trying to avoid a similarly tough road for Puzder by postponing his hearing until all of the required paperwork is completed by the Office of Government Ethics.

According to a GOP aide, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee, “is trying to avoid the same process skirmishes we saw with the DeVos process” by holding off until the paperwork is handed in, even though it is not required to hold a hearing.

The aide said Alexander, R-Tenn., “is trying to cool the temperature in the room by waiting on that before holding a hearing, given the current mood over nominees.”

Puzder’s flagging nomination is also getting a big push from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who on Tuesday defended him as one of many individuals nominated by both Republican and Democratic presidents over the years who had imperfect records.

“We are always looking for nominees who’ve never made a mistake,” McConnell said. “Frequently, it’s impossible to find nominees who haven’t made a mistake. He realized his mistake, he fixed it, and I think he’s imminently qualified for the job. For myself, I’m enthusiastically in his camp.”

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But not all Republicans are on board yet, and with likely universal opposition from Democrats, the GOP would only be able to afford to lose the support of two party lawmakers before the nomination is scuttled.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said he believes all of Trump’s nominees will ultimately be confirmed, but he hedged on Puzder.

“You don’t want to presuppose the outcome until the process has had a chance to play out,” Thune told reporters who asked about Puzder’s prospects. “I think there are going to be members that want to hear from him. There hasn’t been a confirmation hearing on him.”

Thune said McConnell’s endorsement Tuesday “will carry a lot of weight with people.”

Puzder’s confirmation hearing has been postponed four times since his Dec. 8 nomination, and the delays have led to speculation about his confirmation prospects.

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Media reports quote transition sources who question the strength of Puzder’s nomination given repeated delays in his confirmation hearing and mounting opposition from Democrats and labor groups.

His latest scheduled hearing was supposed to take place Tuesday, but the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions canceled it, citing the missing paperwork from the Office of Government and Puzder’s incomplete questionnaire.

Puzder is a lawyer and longtime executive with CKE Restaurants, which owns both the Hardees and Carl’s Jr. burger restaurants. He has been an outspoken critic of efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15 and a is a supporter of job automation.

Democrats have already signaled they plan to vigorously question his qualifications to oversee the nation’s labor laws. The Labor panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray, held a forum last month on workers who say they were mistreated by Puzder.

“Mr. Puzder has spoken out against an increase in the minimum wage, expanded overtime protections, and has even talked about replacing workers with robots because robots don’t need breaks or get sick,” Murray said.”All of that makes a lot of sense coming from a millionaire CEO who profits off of squeezing workers, but it’s very concerning coming from a potential Secretary of Labor and helps make very clear why he is a uniquely unqualified choice to lead the Department.”

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